Thursday, August 14, 2008

The scariest thing that I've seen in Iraq so far? CNN!

(Photos are of me trying to fall asleep across the road from the Rhino bus stop, trying to fall asleep at the Baghdad airport, Baghdad and a section of the Great Wall of Baghdad from the air, and the inside of an MRAP)

After getting all lost in Baghdad, I finally made it to the Green Zone around 5:00 am. Someone came out from the Combined Press Information Center, picked me up, drove me back to CPIC and gave me a place to sleep -- a bottom bunk in the media room.

I am so completely fouled up and drained and exhausted from lack of sleep that I have no confidence left. "Everything you have ever written is trash!" proclaims my brain. "Nothing you've ever written or done matters." So what if I think that the Army is composed of good guys? The fact remains that I am now staying in a country that has been mercilessly and needlessly invaded, bombed and destroyed at the will of America's so-called commander-in-chief. And yet on CNN last night as I was watching TV while waiting for a Rhino up-armored bus convoy to take me to the Green Zone, Bush had the audacity to accuse RUSSIA of the crime of invading a sovereign nation. Apparently George Orwell was spot-on when he wrote, "Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth." Does no one on CNN have any memory of what went on here in Iraq -- just five short years ago?

In low, hushed tones like carnival hypnotists talking to their shills, the newscasters at CNN spun us an elaborate web of deceit -- about how John McCain was a great war leader -- yeah right. The man has proved again and again that he has NO judgment when it comes to deciding when and when not to release the dread Dogs of War. "But I supported The Surge," he cries. Yeah but. If you'd done your homework in the first place, John, we wouldn't have NEEDED a surge.

According to analyst Brent Budowsky, "The Bush and McCain obsession with Iraq and Iran has not only done grave damage to our military force structures and deterrent, they have warped our international policy, endangered our national security and created a crisis of inattention from Pakistan to Russia that makes the world a far more dangerous place."

Further, according to Think Progress, "...a new analysis by Open Secrets finds that the U.S. military is increasingly rejecting McCain as its spokesman. Obama has received
nearly six times as much money from soldiers deployed overseas. Even anti-war libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has suspended his campaign, has received more than four times as much [from deployed soldiers] as McCain."

Then the hypnotists at CNN went on and on about John Edwards' affair, not even mentioning that McCain had apparently been committing adultery with young Cindy-the-beer-heiress long before he filed for divorce from his wife who had stayed faithful to him for the entire time he had been a prisoner of war. Is that affair ever going to be discussed on TV too? Or is history being ignored here as well.

At 3:00 am, stranded at the military equivalent of a Greyhound bus depot and in a depressingly sleepless state of mind after watching CNN verbally pat Bush and McCain on the back again and again, the only thought running through my brain again and again was, "America is screwed."

And this thought was followed in quick succession by, "Jane, stop pretending that there is anything you can do about it."

No matter how many times I pop off to Iraq to see what is actually going on over here and no matter how much I proclaim how efficient and honorable our military is, our soldiers are still following a leader in Washington with blood on his hands. And they will soon follow yet another leader with blood on his hands -- be it McCain or even Obama -- into a grim future that appears to be offering Americans nothing more than an endless stream of unnecessary wars which in turn will lead to economic devastation as well. And is there ANYTHING I can do to stop this horror movie from unfolding? No.

Further, while our American military now has the awesome and incredible battle capability to be able to attack almost the entire world on both land and on sea, our military can do nothing to prevent America from being defeated in our most vulnerable place -- our bank vaults. According to news analyst Mike Whitney, "...will [Medvedev and Putin launch a military attack on Georgia or will they] launch an asymmetrical attack on the fragile US financial system by selling all $50 billion of their Fannie Mae mortgage-backed bonds and all of their US dollar-backed assets while refusing to sell oil or natural gas in any currencies other than rubles and euros. Such an announcement could send the dollar crashing and the Dow Jones into a death-spiral. Why would Putin use a blunderbuss when a flyswatter will do just fine."

As I see it, bin Ladin himself hadn't been a big enough military threat to justify the expense of corporatists in Washington shelling out billions of dollars in taxpayers' money on buying every weaponry gadget ever invented. So the guys inside Washington's beltway upped the ante and the war on Al Qaeda upgraded into the "War on Terror". Still not scary enough? Apparently not. So they added weapons of mass destruction and the war on Iraq to the list.

But as our armed forces continue to do their work well in Iraq and this "war" continues to wind down, what will the corporatists do to justify their next $100 billion allocation from Congress? Hmmm. There's the war on Iran waiting in the wings. Whew. But now Russia is offering America's corporatist weapons manufacturers what amounts to their ultimate nirvana short of resurrecting the Third Reich -- the grand possibility of starting the Second Cold War.

And with enemies as daunting as Russia (and possibly combined with Iran and China if the corporatists get lucky), the sky's the limit for America's military budget. Plus here comes the end of any hopes we might have harbored in our bosom of stopping global warming and starting the evolution of human kindness and the re-birth of the human soul.

The bottom line here is that the corporatist weapons manufacturers and their main Bush/McCain supporters seem to want a military solution to EVERYTHING. And so, judging from what I had watched on television at the Rhino bus stop somewhere south of Baghdad at 3:00 am in the morning, does CNN. Now THAT'S scary!

With that thought, I finally fell asleep.

Then some people started talking in the media room and woke me up. I peeked at my watch and groaned. 8:00 am. Three hours sleep. Again. And what's ahead of me now? Four grueling days of transit -- first to the Baghdad airport, followed by a C-130 flight to Kuwait and a trans-Atlantic flight to California that will last forever. And all for what? All for nothing. Nothing that I can possibly write about my experiences over here will ever be able to stop the avalanche of war happening back in Washington.

Sure, I made a few deep and lasting friendships over here, witnessed pain and recovery, saw mankind at its best as lotuses once again started to grow out of the mud (or in this case out of sewage ponds) and rode around in MRAPs with soldiers of honor. But what good is all this new hopefulness really going to do us if Americans continue to be hypnotized by the evening news into continuing to support politicians who willingly allow us to continue to fall off the cliff again and again -- into even more Iraqs, even more Vietnams, even more Rwandas, Mogadishus and failed states?

I've got nothing.

My children and grandchildren are screwed.

I need more sleep. Or at least to eat breakfast.